In January 2013 I took on responsibility for the CCCB website. An exciting and simultaneously terrorific task which I set about at the time with great enthusiasm. I am no digital native and to execute this new undertaking with guarantees, I needed to surround myself with people familiar with the digital environment who would be able to help me when making decisions on this new area of my professional responsibility.
I didn’t hesitate to form the CCCB Website Committee – a cross-disciplinary, fluid, efficient and high-spirited work group — nor in deciding who should form part of it: Sònia Aran, Lucia Calvo, Maria Farràs and Edgar Riu.
The first thing that we did was to analyse the Centre’s website. It is essential to have a diagnosis before any decisions can be made. The website, it must be said here and now, was promoted by our colleague Teresa Roig, and it has become an operational and very highly valued tool since 2007 and up to today, as we are on the verge of presenting its redesign.
In the very first work sessions we realised that the website was in need of many improvements. The digital world is so supersonic that six years are an eternity. But work on what was originally intended to be mere changes soon showed up the glaringly obvious: we needed a new website.
Breaking down, dissecting and deconstructing the website architecture, we gradually drew up a parallel architecture that was much better suited to the new needs. But this new structure had to respond to certain objectives. And this was the first milestone that we set ourselves.
Why did we want to redesign the website and what goals did we want to accomplish? We obtained the answer after many hours of work and it can be summarised in the following four points:
1. Increase the number of visits (virtual and real-life) to the CCCB. To achieve this, we had to improve the website architecture, interrelate many more of its contents, simplify and clarify the service information, improve the website’s positioning and present a design that would adapt to all mobile devices.
2. Promote in-house contents converting a website-agenda into a space that would give higher visibility to the different types of contents and that would give added value to the archive.
3. Improve the corporate image and the transparency of the CCCB website by simplifying the corporate texts, unifying the channels for contact with the public and creating a unitary, simple and clear image, based on the new CCCB logo.
4. Boost the income of the CCCB through an increase in and greater visibility of online ticket sales, growth in the number of Friends of the CCCB, plus an increase in and heightened visibility of CCCB venue hire.
So we had the what and the why of the website redesign. Now we needed to establish the roadmap. Firstly, we needed the complicity of the management, which we found immediately in the then director of the centre, Marçal Sintes, and its assistant director, Elisenda Poch. Elisenda was the person who gave absolute priority to the project, who placed at our disposal the Systems team, led by Gerard Bel, and who allocated the necessary budget.
The foundations were thus settled and secure, and we could now start to construct the building. It was the time, also, to hire the services of external professionals who would guarantee the results that we were seeking. This led us to choose the team of designers at DOMO-A, plus the company LaMagnética to carry out SEO analysis and guarantee good positioning of the new website in search engines such as Google, and finally, the usability company Estudio Torres Burriel which was to guarantee that any decisions taken would facilitate the navigation of users around the website.
Following their work, the adaptation of the contents manager began. Starting from zero with a new contents manager was beyond our budget, but it was necessary to adapt to the new architecture the manager that the company Inte created in 2007. And this program adjustment was carried out by the company Sonicon hand in hand with Adrià Vila and David Berruezo.
Meanwhile, the day-to-day work in-house at the CCCB was captained by Iñaki Sainz, the Centre’s new Head of Systems, accompanied by Edgar Riu and Lucia Calvo, the project’s webmasters. Later, Rosa Puig took over the reins with regard to the static texts on the website substituting Lucia, who took maternity leave.
Two and a half years after taking on the challenge of the CCCB website, its redesign is finally complete. What was a project is now a reality, and, therefore, no longer belongs to those of us who have been its guides and mentors. Now the baton is being passed on to the entire team at the Centre, which will be responsible for looking after it.
But the CCCB’s website, above all, belongs to its users. This redesign is intended to facilitate navigation and searches for contents. It is designed to highlight the agenda and service information. It aims to be clearer, more graphic, more relational, more transparent. And it has to be a responsive website that can be consulted from any mobile device. In short, it has to be the instrument that will allow the CCCB to continue to stand as a reference point among the cultural centres of the 21st century in Barcelona, Catalonia and the world.